NEW YORK (Reuters) — JetBlue Airways, the low-cost start-up carrier, Friday said it has started outfitting its aircraft with bullet-proof cockpit doors and hidden TV cameras as the airlines tighten security after last month's attacks.
JetBlue's Kevlar doors, which are anti-ballistic, force resistant and strengthened by titanium bars, are designed to stop intruders barging into the cockpit, the carrier said.
"We've always invested in the best and have always been innovative," said Gareth Edmondson-Jones, a JetBlue spokesman. "We felt these were the right steps to take to quickly make both our customers and crew feel more secure about flying."
Most major U.S. airlines have already started installing reinforced bars or deadlocks on their cockpit doors as part of federal security regulations after hijackers crashed commercial aircraft into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon building last month.
JetBlue plans to complete installation of the $10,000 doors on its 18 Airbus aircraft by the end of the month, Edmondson-Jones said.
Kevlar, a lightweight composite nylon fiber, is used in military helmets, fighting vehicles and helicopters, said Wayne Bodge, president of Advanced Composite Technologies, the Woodstock, Georgia-based aircraft parts supplier that worked with JetBlue on the armor plates that are part of the door.
Bodge said the armor meets the U.S. Justice Department's National Institute of Justice standards for resisting blunt force, gunfire from handguns or 9 mm weapons and also hand grenade fragments. -->
Early next year, JetBlue will install four hidden cameras on all its aircraft, allowing pilots to monitor activity in the cabin.